Balance Month

It's Balance Month. But I won't be doing any of this. (Have you seen 'Man On Wire'? It made my head hurt)

On Saturday evening, H Ren and I held our sporadic conference as to what the theme for July might be. Although my inebriated state led to my forgetting said theme (it was Carnival, OK?) she later reminded me: July 2011 is Balance Month.

Contrary to this theme, I then went on to have terrible insomnia the last few nights and feel distinctly out of balance. I’m much more on-theme today, though – thank goodness – so thought I’d post something up to honour it. I’ll come back and write some more about the idea of Balance – which I think was part-inspired by debt, balances and payback again – later on.

But for now – after my Twitter-based brush with one of my very favourite writers, Margaret Atwood, on Monday and my conversely Twitter-based failure to get Carol Ann Duffy to read a poem which mentions her (there’s some balance, perhaps?)…Here is a poem by CAD which has a great image of ‘balance’ in it.

I was reminded of it recently and remembered how much I like it: the highlighting of text-as-image, words-as-thoughts and thoughts-as-objects – and in such a brief poem. The sense of how we create the world, generate risk and failure, strive or don’t-strive to achieve things, and live through thoughts and images are all really palpable, despite its brevity:


This is the word tightrope. Now imagine
a man, inching across it in the space
between our thoughts. He holds our breath.

There is no word net.

You want him to fall, don’t you?
I guessed as much; he teeters but succeeds.
The word applause is written all over him.

– Carol Ann Duffy

Oh and if Carol Ann Duffy happens to read this (teehee!) then here’s my previous post containing a poem about you (or rather, your name – and names generally). There’s a few links to ‘Talent’, in fact…

‘Filing The Poet Laureate’

I’ve been working recently back in well-known broadcasting institution – and wrote this poem based on an occurrence a week or so ago. It’s self-explanatory, I suppose – a tongue-in-cheek but affectionate account of a real office moment.

Should Carol Ann Duffy actually end up reading this, by some fluke of Google (a Floogle?) or somesuch, then I hope you like it (I really do) and please have a further look around at my work…


Filing the Poet Laureate


Dear Commander Duffy,

Having been working recently

in the office of a well-known poetry

programme, you will be pleased

to learn of your re-filing

from ‘Misc D’

to ‘Named D’.


Be aware this was far from a snub:

your languishing miscellaneously

was a long-overdue job and others

– who may remain nameless –

are yet to be upgraded . Lovingly,

we recreated the typewritten label –

in Courier, size 14, bold:


you read now.


We know it’s hardly

a title. A royal-booze crate,

or regal selection. But, as a poet,

we’re sure you’ll appreciate

the attention

to detail.


And so, Carol

– can I call you Carol? –

John(s) Donne and Drinkwater shuffled off

graciously to make space as, swinging

in your own green folder, you

took your rightful and

orderly place.


(c) Caleb Parkin – but please do repost or pass it on 😉